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The BEST way to store produce


Ever get confused about whether to place your tomatoes in the fridge or in the fruit basket on the counter?

It is so common to not know how to store your produce! Allow this blog to help you figure out how to best store your fruits and veggies so they stay delicious & packed with nutrition for as long as possible!

These tips are best applied for produce that is unwashed and in its original packaging or wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. (Exceptions, such as mushrooms and herbs, are noted below.)

If your greens seem sandy or dirty—think lettuce from the farmers’ market—rinse and dry them well, then wrap them in a paper towel before placing in a plastic bag.

Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be removed from any packaging and left loose. The guidelines below assume that your produce is ripe and ready to eat.

Some items, like apricots and avocados, will ripen faster in a paper bag on the countertop (see below). The bag traps ethylene gas, which is released by the produce and acts as a maturing agent. Want to speed the process up even more? Put an apple in the bag, too.

Alfalfa sprouts Refrigerator: 3 days Apples Refrigerator: 3 weeks Apricots Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft and fragrant. Artichokes Refrigerator: 1 week Arugula, bagged and in clamshells Refrigerator: No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop. Arugula, bunch Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: If the bunch has roots, wrap it in a damp paper towel before bagging. Asparagus Refrigerator: 3 days Tip: Trim the ends before wrapping the spears in a damp paper towel, then in a plastic bag. Avocados Refrigerator: 3 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft. Bananas Countertop: 5 days Tip: Ripe bananas can be frozen for baking (the skins will blacken, but the flesh will be fine).

Beets Refrigerator: 3 weeks Tip: Separate the leaves from the roots before storing them separately in a plastic bag; the leaves will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Bell peppers Refrigerator: 1 week (green); 5 days (red, yellow, and orange) Blackberries Refrigerator: 2 days (spread in a single layer on a paper towel–lined plate) Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold. Blueberries Refrigerator: 1 week Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold. Bok choy Refrigerator: 3 days Broccoli Refrigerator: 1 week Broccoli rabe Refrigerator: 1 week Brussels sprouts Refrigerator: 1 week Cabbage, green and red Refrigerator: 2 weeks Cabbage, savoy and napa Refrigerator: 1 week Cantaloupe Refrigerator: 5 days (whole); 3 days (cut)

Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag. Before slicing the melon, wash the rind thoroughly to prevent the transmission of bacteria.

Carrots Refrigerator: 2 weeks Cauliflower Refrigerator: 1 week Celery Refrigerator: 2 weeks Chard Such as Swiss and rainbow Refrigerator: 3 days Cherries Refrigerator: 3 days (in an open bag or bowl) Chili peppers, fresh Refrigerator: 2 weeks Note: Dried chili peppers will keep for 4 months in an airtight container. Clementines Refrigerator: 5 days Collard greens Refrigerator: 5 days Corn, unshucked Refrigerator: Best on the first day; 3 days are possible. Cranberries Refrigerator: 1 month Cucumbers Refrigerator: 5 days

Eggplant Refrigerator: 5 days Endive Refrigerator: 5 days Escarole Refrigerator: 3 days Fennel Refrigerator: 1 week Garlic Pantry: 2 months (make sure air can circulate around it) Ginger Refrigerator: 3 weeks Tip: Ginger can be frozen for up to 6 months. It’s not necessary to thaw it before grating. Grapefruit Countertop: 1 week Refrigerator: 3 weeks Grapes Refrigerator: Best up to 3 days; 1 week is possible (in a bowl or ventilated plastic bag). Green beans Refrigerator: 1 week Herbs, leafy Refrigerator: 3 days (basil, cilantro, chives, tarragon); 5 days (parsley, mint) Tip: Wrap the bunch in a damp paper towel before bagging. Herbs, woody Such as rosemary and thyme Refrigerator: 2 weeks Honeydew Refrigerator: 5 days (whole); 3 days (cut) Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag. Before slicing the melon, wash the rind thoroughly to prevent the transmission of bacteria.

Jicama Refrigerator: 1 week Kale Refrigerator: 3 days Kiwis Refrigerator: 4 days Leeks Refrigerator: 1 week Tip: Cut off and discard the dark green tops and keep the roots intact. Lemons Refrigerator: 3 weeks Lettuce, bagged and in clamshells Refrigerator: No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop. Lettuce, head Refrigerator: 5 days (iceberg can last for 2 weeks) Limes Refrigerator: 3 weeks Mangoes Refrigerator: 4 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft. Mushrooms Refrigerator: 1 week (in a paper bag) Mustard greens Refrigerator: 3 days

Nectarines Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft. Okra Refrigerator: 3 days (in a paper bag) Onions Pantry: 2 months (whole; make sure air can circulate around them) Refrigerator: 4 days (cut) Oranges Countertop: 3 days Refrigerator: 2 weeks Parsnips Refrigerator: 1 month Peaches Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft and slightly fragrant. Pears Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft. Peas, English and in pods Refrigerator: 4 days Tip: Leave them in the pods until ready to eat. Pineapple Countertop: 5 days (whole) Refrigerator: 3 days (sliced) Plums Refrigerator: 5 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature until soft and the skins develop a silvery, powdery coating. Pomegranates Refrigerator: 3 weeks (whole); 3 days (seeds)

Potatoes, new and fingerling Pantry: 5 days (make sure air can circulate around them) Potatoes—red, russet, Yukon gold, and others Pantry: 3 weeks (make sure air can circulate around them) Radicchio Refrigerator: 4 days Radishes Refrigerator: Best up to 3 days; 2 weeks are possible Tip: Remove the leaves to prolong freshness. Raspberries Refrigerator: 3 days (in a single layer on a paper towel–lined plate) Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold. Rhubarb Refrigerator: 1 week Tip: Do not eat the leaves; they can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. Rutabaga Pantry: 1 week Refrigerator: 2 weeks Scallions Refrigerator: 5 days Shallots Pantry: 1 month (make sure air can circulate around them) Snow peas Refrigerator: 4 days Spinach, bagged and in clamshells Refrigerator: No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop. Spinach, bunch Refrigerator: 3 days

Squash, summer Refrigerator: 5 days Squash, winter Such as acorn, butternut, delicata, and spaghetti Pantry: 3 months (whole) Refrigerator: 1 week (cut) Strawberries Refrigerator: 3 days Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold. Sugar snap peas Refrigerator: 4 days Sweet potatoes and yams Pantry: 2 weeks (in a paper bag) Tangerines Refrigerator: 1 week Tomatillos Refrigerator: 1 month (in a paper bag) Tomatoes Countertop: 3 days Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag. Turnips Refrigerator: 2 weeks Tip: Separate the leaves from the roots before storing them separately in a plastic bag; the leaves will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Watercress, bagged and in clamshells Refrigerator: No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop. Watercress, bunch Refrigerator: 4 days Watermelon Refrigerator: 1 week (whole); 2 days (cut) Tip: If you can’t refrigerate the melon whole, keep it in the pantry at a cool temperature. Zucchini Refrigerator: 5 days

Let me know what you thought of this blog & if it was helpful!

#produce #fruits #veggies #foodstorage

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